Toys 'R Us is removing Breaking Bad toys from its shelves after a Florida woman launched a petition to defend the retail chain's "family friendly values."
So most of us can probably agree that Breaking Bad was fantastic, yes? The writing, the acting, the obvious amount of work that went into making pretty much every little detail matter and mean something; they all added up to a TV series that will probably be remembered as a peak product of its medium for years to come. That being the case, with its focus on drugs, crime and general human awfulness, it's also not the sort of show you'd want your kids to watch.
For some parents though, keeping their kids from watching Breaking Bad wasn't enough. For some it was important the series be completely removed from anything related to children. Florida mother Susan Schrijver, for instance, recently launched a Change.org petition aimed at convincing Toys 'R Us to remove a line of Breaking Bad action figures from its stores.
"Toys R Us is well known around the world for their vast selection of toys for children of all ages," said Schrijver in her petition. "Their decision to sell a Breaking Bad doll, complete with a detachable sack of cash and a bag of meth, alongside children's toys is a dangerous deviation from their family friendly values. That's why I'm calling on Toys R Us to immediately stop selling the Breaking Bad doll collection in their stores and on their website."
Schrijver's petition quickly picked up steam, drawing support from thousands of like-minded and parents. Toys R' Us, in turn, initially defended its decision to sell the toys, citing the fact that their packaging clearly states they're intended for customers over the age of 15. It has since recanted that stance however, and has most recently agreed to pull the toys from sale for what it's describing as an "indefinite sabbatical." In response to this and to Schrijver's petition, a second petition has been launched urging the store to keep selling adult-themed toys like the Breaking Bad figures for adult collectors who might enjoy purchasing them. That petition is currently closing in on 5,000 supporters. Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has also weighed in several times on the controversy, joking at one point that he had plans to burn his "Florida Mom action figure in protest."
Speaking personally, Schrijver's sentiments as well as Toys 'R Us capitulation strike a rather sour note with me. I'm not a huge toy collector but I do enjoy perusing the store's shelves when I visit with my daughter and my experience has been that the store does a good job of keeping its adult-targeted toys in their own separate aisle. In other words, unless you're the sort that lets your kids run wild, you'd have to bring them there yourself for them to see anything potentially inappropriate. Out of curiosity, I also checked with Toys 'R Us to see if they had any sort of age restrictions governing toy sales. The company replied that it has "an ID check process for mature video games, but not for action figures." Perhaps implementing something similar for toys would be a better solution than banning certain action figures outright.
Source: Fox News